I awake and the sun greets me like many other mornings my eyes have seen. Then I remember. I don’t want to really because the heartache stirs deep all over me again.
It is the day after. Exhaustion had overcome me and graciously, the Lord had granted me sleep. My eyes were tired from the fountain of tears they had cried the evening before this day. My mind played over and over the event of the day prior to this and I tried to convince myself that it was all real, yet it all seemed so surreal at best. It was as if I was drifting through a haze of events that just couldn’t be real. It was the day after my mother had died. I awoke and had to remember it all over once again. One of my first thoughts was that she was still here, I could still talk with her and tell her that I love her. That was not reality, though and that would quickly settle in my mind, forever imprinted there with memories of having to turn off her life support because there was no more sign of life.
Is this what it was like for Mary? Did she cry herself to sleep? Did the terrifying events of the day before scream at her as she sought rest from her weariness? Did she awake the next morning only to remember that it was not a dream, but a cruel reality that she faced? Was her mind still reeling from the unprecedented evil that she has witnessed the day before this? Her heart had to be aching and agonizing even though she knew that His heart would be pierced through and hers was, as well. Pierced for our ugly, vile sin.
What now? Processing this is all too much and my mind doesn’t want to comprehend what death really means. I close my eyes, but I can’t hide from it. More tears flow and this is how the new day begins. It isn’t a dream at all. Did Mary try to hide from it, too? Did she close her eyes tightly thinking that she could somehow rid herself of the image of her Son hanging there on that cross in excruciating pain?
Nothing I do takes away the grief I have. I cannot remove it. Only the Lord provides that kind of comfort and healing. So, I pray. I pray that the Lord will move me from this bed and give the extra grace I will need to make it through what this day holds. Grace to be and do what is needed today. I get up. I still cry in the shower and many more times that day and for days to come. There is an ache there that stays with me like a faithful companion.
It is the day after Jesus died. I can only imagine how His mother and followers felt. They didn’t yet know the hope that was to come very shortly. This is the hope every Believer can cling to with sweet and amazing fervor. We know the truth. We know we are not abandoned. We know there is life to come. Death is a great mystery we must all embrace. We can believe or we can constantly question and never be sure. There is a choice to make.
So, I see that there is life yet to be lived and that He gives me the ability to move forward even in my grief. He shows me that with each new day, I will awake and need to remember all these events until they become my new normal. In that new way of living and thinking, I find He shows me more of Himself day after day. Now I awake and I have a joy inexpressible, instead of a grief so deep that it feels like I could die. It wasn’t just a dream at all. It did really happen and now I find a new truth that defines all of life. My life is awake to Him in His truth. I find this truth in 2 Corinthians 5: 16-21…” Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even thought we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away;behold, new things have come. Now all these thing are from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
I only have this truth to give me hope. It is the truth of every single day, or I have nothing. In my wildest dreams I never imagined such a hope. My eyes awake to it now each morning. It is a sweet reality that brings my life the meaning it was meant to have.